Newbie questions about Asterisk and applicability


#1

Up front I wish to apologize for taking some of your time, when I might have been able to suss it out from on-line or manuals, etc… However, I run a Pousada in Brasil (think Bed and Breakfast for those of you in the US), and I get to look at things late at night or middle of the day for a few minutes. My wife and I just bought this place. the phone system (to put it politely) sucks, the people we bought it from wired up the system themselves. It works, but there are many quirks and hoops to jump thru to pass a call to a guest cabin, or to allow the guest in the cabin to make a call. In addition, since I don’t speak much Portuguese yet (more every day though), my wife must handle all of the phone duties. So we want something that will allow her to receive calls whereever she is.

Our needs:

  1. a reliable phone system, to receive and make calls to the outside world (via Brasil Telecom).
  2. Allow calls to be routed to whereever my wife happens to be, either forward to cell phone, or another phone on the property.
  3. Allow our guest to make/receive calls from their cabins.
  4. Integrate a VOIP system to make calls less expensive; ie to Skype, MSN Messenger, iChat, AIM, etc.
  5. Other features that would be useful, that I don’t know that Asterisk can do for me.

We have a 256kb connection to the internet, that may get faster in the next year, but not necessarily. Our telephone company is Brasil Telecom. We have access to hardware to run Linux and the rest of the stuff required for Asterisk (I think).

So is Asterisk for a business like us, small but hopefully growing? We have 9 cabins, with the idea of adding maybe 5 to 10 more in the next 5 years.

Again, thanks for your replies.

Craig Snively
Hotel Pousada Colina de Pedra.


#2

Asterisk may be suitable for your requirements. Have a look at asteriskathome.sourceforge.net/ , which is a self-installing implementation of Asterisk with a Web GUI.

For VoIP, you will need more bandwidth if you would like to use it for the outside world. But, you may use hardware from digium.com to connect to Brasil Telecom as well.

As for the rest, I do recommend the wiki and the book posted in my signature below. Good luck!


#3

<As for the rest, I do recommend the wiki and the book posted in my signature below. Good luck!>

By the way, thank you for the quick response to this topic. I’m still in my searching stage, but since our intelbras 2010 just crapped out on us, I’m more in need of a system now than I was a few months ago.

What wiki & book are your speaking about. I didn’t see a signature, except to the asterisk counter, and that didn’t seem to have anything along the line of what you were suggesting.

Thanks
Craig


#4

Craig,

Are you using any type of Call Accounting System or Property management system to check your guests in and out of these cabins? I work for a company that provides a Hospitality interface, and call accounting package. We too are working toward Skype integration and would like to offer hotel guests access to their Skype accounts. There may be a number of different solutions that would work for your situation but I think Asterisk is definately the place to start.

Thanks,

Brett